Bang a gong

Bang a gong

Feedback loves going to shows, but it’s also refreshing to stumble across interesting music. That’s literally what happened on July 12 when we came upon a group banging gongs and other metal instruments on the Downtown Mall. Falling somewhere between a drum circle and wind chime ensemble, these folks mesmerized us with their peaceful, droning warble.

We caught up with one of the members, Paul Brewer, after the concert, and it turns out that these mallet-wielders are the Charlottesville Gamelan ensemble and they play traditional music from the Indonesian island of Java. Brewer says the group, led by Cindy Benton-Groner, has been around for more than 25 years and includes around 10 regular members. Though they say it was more of a practice than a performance, we feel quite lucky to have caught the ensemble out in public, as they play formally only a couple times a year. You are lucky, too, because Feedback was able to capture some video of the event. Check it out at and, if you’d like to learn more about the group, contact Benton-Groner at

Video of the Charlottesville Gamelan ensemble performing on the Downtown Mall.
All is full of love: The youngsters of Love Tentacle Drip Society celebrate the release of their first album, Some Kind of Cowboy.

Take a listen to The Future Is Today by Love Tentacle Drip Society:
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Courtesy Love Tentacle Drip Society – Thank you!

Local folk-pop foursome Love Tentacle Drip Society is poised to release their debut album, Some Kind of Cowboy, and when we met up with them to talk about this momentous occasion, our first thought was, boy, these kids are young. Second thought (upon chatting with them and listening to the copy of the album that they slipped us)? Man, they’ve really got something. Though still teenagers, the four boys have pulled from influences far and wide (Talking Heads, Tom Waits and Madison County bluegrass are a few that they mentioned) to craft a smart and intricate record.

They weren’t without help, though. The ubiquitous Lance Brenner (of The Falsies and The Naked Puritans) was producer, engineer and, as the boys put it, “fifth member of the band.” The CD release party will be at Gravity Lounge on Saturday, July 28, and Brenner’s other other band, Thrum, will open. The first 50 people through the door will get a limited edition of the album with handcrafted packaging, so expect to find Feedback at the front of the line.

Whether he’s playing with pop star Mandy Moore, eccentric experimentalist Jandek or leading his own ensemble, drummer Brian Jones has the skills to pay the bills.

Every city has a few of those musicians that turn up everywhere. We have Tucker Rogers and John D’earth; Richmond has Brian Jones. No, not the Stones guitarist, he died back in ‘69. We’re talking about the former Agents of Good Roots drummer and current jazz and experimental guru who will roll into town on Wednesday, July 25 with his self-titled guitar-jazz four-piece. The Brian Jones Quartet usually includes another of our own musical regulars, Sam Wilson (High Society, Thompson/D’earth, Helen Horal), but since he’s busy sailing the high seas with his brothers in Sons of Bill, Alan Parker, another Jones-approved guitarist, will take his place. “It’s a little different,” says Jones, “but super cool.”

Take a listen to (Sweeter Than A) Clementine:
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and Graze by the Brian Jones Quartet:
powered by ODEO Courtesy of Brian Jones – Thank you!

The quartet recently recorded an album, and Jones cites jazz guitarists Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Pat Metheny as inspiration, saying, “The record is kind of a love letter to those guys.” Feedback is excited to see Jones’ group, but it is merely one stalk in the man’s vast field of musical endeavors. In addition to countless projects on his own Slang Sanctuary label, he played drums on Mandy Moore’s latest album and sat in with obscure outsider musician Jandek for a show back in March. Feedback was lucky to catch the latter, and, we must say, put a pair of sticks in his hands, and Jones will tear it up.

Take a listen to Sweetheart by Sarah White:
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Courtesy of Sarah White – Thank you!

Two final news bits. Sarah White won the regional finals of Mountain Stage’s NewSong competition and will head to NYC for the national finals in late September (Feedback roadtrip?). And Ryan Adams’ Paramount show, which fell through on July 10, has been rescheduled for September 13.

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